I've been contemplating getting a new machine with more bells and whistles for quite some time. Ken is an excellent machine, but he was missing a few of the features I felt I wanted as my skills improved. So I spent the last month reading reviews of machines and figuring out exactly which features I wanted and would use. And this is what I landed on.
Note that it also comes with pretty flowers.
This Janome has all the features I wanted, and some I didn't even know I wanted until it arrived and I started playing with it! I was looking for the ability to adjust stitch width as well as length, "needle down" positioning, snap-on feet and more than one style of buttonhole. But it also has a feature that automatically backstitches at the beginning and end of the row (stitch number 3), and the foot pedal is optional!
I really like the variety of what I consider to be "useful" stitches. Many of the machines I looked at had lots of decorative stitches that I doubt I would ever use. Here I've got just a few. I do think that stitch number 30 is pretty cute.
Along with the machine I got myself a small selection of extra feet: invisible zipper foot (I've been wanting this for a LONG time!), narrow rolled hem foot and blind hem foot.
These feet come from Amazon, and they're very reasonably priced and seem to be of good quality.
I also got myself the all-important walking foot, which has already been hard at work:
Working on what, you may ask? Well, Mags and the walking foot helped me finish my quilt! And let me tell you I am over the moon about it, even though it's far from perfect. I think the imperfect bits just add to its charm.
Ta daaaaa! Want to see it closer? I thought so!
I love that texture. I decided to do the quilting in a random plaid, which I think worked well for the design of the top. You can see it more clearly on the plain white back:
The whole time I was working on it, I was daydreaming about the moment that I'd be able to throw it in the washer and dryer to get that crinkly "old quilt" look. I just love that!
For binding I used some very pale yellow voile I had in my stash. It's just what I wanted - something understated that wouldn't detract from the top. This being my first time binding a quilt on the machine, I had a little trouble with the corners, so I tacked diagonally across them.
I now know that the generic walking foot I was trying to use with Ken was causing my all my problems. Here's one of the lines of quilting I did with it:
The foot was causing the fabric to bunch up rather than feeding it through! I'm glad to know it was the foot and not my own lack of skills.
Even though this style of quilt does not really work in our very modern house, I'm just in love with it and can't stop looking at it. I've put it at the foot of the bed, where I can look up from my knitting chair and see it!